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Msheireb Downtown Development – Heart of Doha

Doha, Qatar

Msheireb Downtown Doha is a unique form of Qatari urban development, with an exciting mix of hospitality, retail, residential, commercial and civic offerings. The project revives and regenerates the historical downtown centre of Qatar’s capital city, implementing the best of traditional and modern innovative design and technologies, to re-energise the core of the city and create a hub of activity, where people return once again to live, work, shop and spend time with family and friends.

Msheireb Downtown Doha sets out to achieve sustainability in its broadest possible sense, including facilitating social integration, creating a mix of uses to encourage footfall and manage resources efficiently. The scheme is looking to establish a benchmark for sustainable architecture in modern Middle Eastern cities. The design of the urban space draws on traditional techniques for dealing with climate, and emphasises close-knit pedestrian districts where all amenities are within close walking distance. The development is ‘rooted in the past while looking to the future’, and defines a new architectural language which is embedded in Qatari tradition.

Msheireb Properties launched an international competition in 2008 to select the best architects to design a world-class urban landscape for this seminal project. The challenge was to find those that could interpret in modern terms, a vernacular that could bridge the gap between the Doha of the past and the Doha of tomorrow. Mossessian Architects were selected out of 94 international firms by an eminent jury of academics and architects to build Barahat Al-Nouq Square, and twenty-six buildings within the project.

Mossessian Architecture won the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects “Overall Winner” category for our work on the Msheireb scheme. Dohaland’s CEO Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi said, “The architectural design that Mossessian Architecture have developed for the Musheireb project has truly been groundbreaking”.

Client: Msheireb Properties Lead Design
Service Provided: Architectural Services On Site
Status: Completion 2014
Project Type: Project-Specific Feature
Barahat Al-Nouq Square

Barahat Square is at the heart of the Msheireb Downtown Doha development and holds the distinction of being the region’s largest covered public square. Barahat Square will be a meeting point for visitors as well as residents and will be active throughout the year with street entertainment as well as seasonal and community events. 

Our design concept was a ‘golden square’ which references the luxurious, welcoming sitting rooms of traditional Qatari homes, where people gather together. The onyx cladding is backlit at night to reveal its beauty and translucent honey tones. The floor-pattern for the square was derived from our studies of Qatari geometry and specifically screens found in traditional Qatari architecture. We worked with engineers to develop an innovative ‘roof’ design and cooling system which allows the square to be used all year round whilst retaining the feel of being outside, through the installation of operable canopies and natural ventilation to achieve the optimum in thermal comfort for this space.​

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